In the press
Praise for The Fame Thief
"Timothy Hallinan's The Fame Thief has everything I've come to expect in a Hallinan novel: indelible, complex characters, fantastic plot, and moments of hold-your-breath suspense."
—Charlaine Harris, author of the New York Times bestselling Sookie Stackhouse series
"As usual in a Junior Bender novel, the writing is reminiscent of the best of crime fiction’s golden age — as taut and hardboiled as Dashiell Hammett’s yet peppered with the sort of smart-aleck lines Raymond Chandler loved to toss off."
—The Associated Press
“In Hallinan’s satisfying third Junior Bender novel (after Little Elvises), the L.A. burglar/PI continues to excavate show business’s forgotten past, investigating in this installment the also-rans of postwar Hollywood.”
"Could not stop laughing. Tim Hallinan is sharp as a blade, has a wicked eye for human nature and keeps the reader guessing and rooting for Junior Bender all the way."
—Helen Simonson, New York Times bestselling author of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
"Hallinan’s natural storytelling skills will hold readers rapt through his Shakespeare-quoting, five-act tale as they relish his attention to Los Angeles cultural details and ability to weave two time periods together so effectively."
—Library Journal (starred review)
"The tangled plot ... produce[s] some surprises along the way, but the real draw here remains the fasttalking, quick-thinking Junior, a slightly seedier but equally entertaining version of Lawrence Block's Bernie Rhodenbarr. If comic crime is your thing, you need to know Junior Bender."
"I started reading Timothy Hallinan’s books several years back and was drawn into his series featuring adventure travel writer Poke Rafferty. Read ’em all, loved ’em all ... So I was a bit concerned when Hallinan started a new series featuring Junior Bender, occasional burglar and full-time go-to guy for those who need a bit of private investigation that strays outside the fine lines of the law. My worries were unfounded: Hallinan is three-deep into the new series, and the books are every bit as good as their forebears—with the added attraction of some Hiaasen-esque comic tone."
—Bruce Tierney, Bookpage
"Hallinan succeeds in crafting the wonderful blend of a Hollywood exposé and a noir mystery with the complexities of a caper... This third Junior Bender mystery satisfies as an extremely enjoyable mystery with loads of dark humor and a brilliant cast of characters who are enmeshed in a spider web plot that spanned through the decades."
—King's River Life Magazine
"Funny and smart and suspenseful all at once."
—The Long Beach Gazette
"Timothy Hallinan's Junior Bender books are so much fun to read that they're almost illegal."
"Junior’s levity provides an excellent set-off to the dark underpinnings of the criminal world he inhabits. Along the way to the truth, he strives not only to keep himself alive, but also to bring a sort of justice to those who have been wronged, even so many years later. More please, Mr. Hallinan."
—Ted Hertel, Deadly Pleasures Magazine
"There is enough gruesome violence, tense drama, and oddball characters in The Fame Thief to satisfy any fan of modern noir. Highly recommended for mystery fans, like myself, who enjoy humorous, but violent, noir."
"The Fame Thief is a rare commodity, a good read that is satisfying on multiple levels. Highest recommendation."
—New Mystery Reader
"Junior is hard not to like. He's funny, smart, resourceful, and his heart is pure, even if his career choice is not."
—Over My Dead Body
Praise for the Junior Bender Series
“A modern-day successor to Raymond Chandler.”
—Los Angeles Daily News
"Hallinan introduces us to a drugged-out, pain-impervious hit man, a nonagenarian puppet master who rules the L.A. underworld, a tabloid reporter who uses his job as a cover to blackmail the rich and the famous, and a host of other characters as dangerously outrageous as the murderous crew obsessed with obtaining the black bird in Hammett's 1930 masterpiece."
"If Carl Hiaasen and Donald Westlake had a literary love child, he would be Timothy Hallinan. The Edgar nominee's laugh-out-loud new crime series featuring Hollywood burglar-turned-private eye Junior Bender has breakout written all over it... A must-read."
—Julia Spencer-Fleming, New York Times bestselling author of One Was a Soldier
"Junior Bender is today’s Los Angeles as Raymond Chandler might have written it. Tim [Hallinan] is a master at tossing out the kind of hard-boiled lines that I wish I thought of first."
—Bruce DeSilva, Macavity & Edgar Award-winning author of Rogue Island
"Loved loved loved Crashed, Tim Hallinan's first Junior Bender mystery. Great narrative voice, complex plot, 3-D characters. Hallinan’s deft comic tone and colorful characters have earned him comparisons to Donald Westlake and Carl Hiassen. Check it out now."
"Timothy Hallinan’s affable antihero, an accomplished thief but inept sleuth named Junior Bender, makes a terrific first impression in Crashed.... Bender’s quick wit and smart mouth make him a boon companion on this oddball adventure."
—New York Times Book Review
"The story is well designed and well told, and the dialogue sparkles. In a genre perhaps slightly overstuffed with crook-heroes, the book is like a breath of fresh air."
"One thing that immediately hits you about Timothy Hallinan’s writing is the clarity and snap of his prose. Junior Bender isn’t a gumshoe, but the cadence of his voice and his observations harken back to other great detectives who were expert at landing a crucial, devastating remark, as well as using their fists or a pistol. It’s a cliché, of course, to bring up Raymond Chandler’s Marlowe, but the similarities are nevertheless present in fitting ways."
—Derek Hill, Mystery Scene
“This is Hallinan at the top of his game. It's laugh-out-loud funny without ever losing any of its mystery. It’s a whole new style and I love it. Junior Bender—a crook with a heart of gold—is one of Hallinan's most appealing heroes, rich with invention, and brimming with classic wit. I can’t recommend it highly enough.”
—Shadoe Stevens, Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson
“Bender's been a burglar since he was 14. He's "never been caught, never been charged," but he has been kissed. In "Little Elvises," he describes one particular smooch as full of "sweetness" with a "shot of cayenne." And that's a perfect description for Bender himself. He has a big heart. It's just crooked. Bender still loves his ex-wife, adores his precocious daughter, but he's become the go-to guy for folks who can't go to the cops. Think of him as a detective for the delinquent, a fixer for felons."
—Carole E. Barrowman, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
“Hallinan is a stunning talent.”
—Gregg Hurwitz, author of They're Watching
"This is one of those books you long for, wait for, and find once or twice a year."
—Beth Kanell, proprietor of Kingdom Books, Vermont